Amtrak Bedroom: What you need to know

by Kev
Amtrak bedroom sofa

The Amtrak Bedroom page is under construction, the information is valid, but there could be some typos or whatnot; thanks for your understanding.

An Amtrak Bedroom is a great way to watch the scenery roll by as you travel to your destination. These bedrooms are private rooms for only you and whoever is on your ticket. Amtrak will never book a stranger in your room.

Amtrak bedrooms offer more room and amenities than the other accommodations on the train, like roomettes. This article covers the basics of Amtrak Bedrooms, included room sizes, 360-degree interactive photos, and more so you can make an informed decision when it comes to booking your trip.

This article also covers topics like what you need to know on the day of travel, being on board the train, arriving at your destination, plus a few ideas and tips to make your trip better.

Grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and discover what an Amtrak bedroom has to offer you.

Types of Amtrak Sleeper Cars

Alpine Texas
Amtrak Superliner Sleeper car on the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited stopped in Alpine. Texas.

Amtrak’s Superliner (bi-level)

Because of these cars’ size and design, Superliners have more rooms than its east coast counterparts. These cars host five bedrooms and fourteen roomettes (one roomette belongs to the car attendant), plus a family and accessible rooms.

If  New York Penn is not on its schedule, your train is a Superliner.

Trains with Superliner Equipment:

Viewliner Sleeper
A Viewliner Sleeper on the Lakeshore Limited at New York Penn Station.

Veiwliners (single-level)

Viewliner cars appear only on east coast routes because they fit in the  New York Penn Station tunnels. These cars have two bedrooms, an accessible room, and fourteen roomettes, plus a roomette for the attendant.

Viewliner trains include:

With That Said

Sleeper cars are similar to RVs, efficient use of limited space. The roomette is the smallest accommodation, with the bedroom being the largest. Any of Amtrak’s rooms will add comfort to your adventure, but the bedroom gives the most amenities in one place, such as a bathroom, shower, sink, and more.

Superliner’s and Viewliner’s have a similar bedroom layout with only slight differences, so I combined them into one article. The most significant difference is Viewliners offer more storage.

Amtrak Bedroom Size And What’s Inside

The bedrooms are 6.5′ by 7.5′ with two large windows to watch the scenery pass by you. Additionally, windows are facing into the hallway for a more open feel. 

Each room has a combined toilet and shower room, and on the outside of that space is a sink, trash can, medicine cabinet, towels, plus storage space. 

Amtrak Bedroom Bathroom
The combined shower and bathroom are used in Amtrak bedroom accommodations.

A quick note about the bathroom is not large but accommodates the shower and toilet efficiently. If your in-room facilities are busy, you or your travel companion have access to the car’s public baths and restrooms.

For seating, there is a sofa and a chair with a fold-out table between the two during the day. At night the sofa becomes the lower berth while a fold-down bunk comes down for your companion. A ladder helps passengers to access the upper berth.

I am about 6’2″ and just fit on the upper bunk, but this birth is wider than the standard roomette bed but not as long. The lower bunk is slightly longer.

If you need to hang anything up or need more storage, there a small closet.

For safety and convenience, reading lights and nightlights are there for illumination and an outlet for charging. There are drapes on the interior and exterior windows for privacy and to block out the sun or street lights.

Packing Note

Superliner Storage
If you have too much luggage for your room, you can store your extra luggage here.

When traveling in general, but especially when traveling by train, packing light works best. Although bedrooms offer the most space, luggage quickly fills up the space you do have. Checked bag service is not available between all stops. So the less you bring, the less you have to worry about, and the more room you’ll have.

If you need a little extra space on the Superliners fleet, there is unsecured storage on the lower level. Viewliners bedrooms have space above the door and bathroom.

Amtrak does allow each passenger to carry on two 28″ suitcases, under 50 pounds, and two personal items. For more information on Amtrak’s generous baggage policies, click here.

What Does The Amtrak Bedroom Look Like Inside?

Daytime

Superliner Bedroom
The inside of an Amtrak Superliner Bedroom

Nighttime

Amtrak Bedroom at night
An Amtrak Superliner Bedroom made up for the bed time.

People ask me what the bedrooms look like inside? My iPhone doesn’t have a tremendous wide-angle lens to capture that perfect view, but fear not, I have a solution!

Move your mobile device around to see the different angel or use the mouse.

What Else Do An Amtrak Bedrooms Offer

Like other rooms on the train, your reservations include your meals (for general info on eating on Amtrak, click here). In the morning, down the hall from your room is coffee and juice service. Trains with flex meals offer complimentary beverages and sleeper-lounge car for meals and relaxing.

Amtrak supplies bar soap, washcloths, and fresh hand and bath towels for showering for your convenience.

Superliner Sign
Superliner Room Sign

Where Are Amtrak Bedrooms Located?

Viewliner (Eastcoast Single level cars)

Viewliner bedrooms are near the entrance vestibule. If you board the sleeper from that end of the car, walk past the accessible room, and you will find both bedrooms. You know you went too far if you see the roomette hall.

If you board from the other end of the car and walk through the roomette corridor till you hit a bend in the road, and the bedrooms will be right there.

Amtrak Viewliner Sleeper
A look at the Amtrak Viewliner Sleeper Car layout

Superliner Sleeper (Bi-Level)

The Superliner fleet bedrooms are on the upper level. After entering the car, walk up the stairs, and take a left.

Superliner Sleeper
The layout of a Superliner Sleeper Car

Deluxe Sleeper

Deluxe Sleepers found exclusively on the Auto Train.

Amtrak deluxe sleeper
Amtrak Deluxe Sleepers.

Getting Around The Train

Getting around a Superliner Train is easy if you remember two things. To go between cars, you need to be on the upper level, and if you want to get on or off the train, you need to be on the lower level.

Superliners have one restroom on the upper level and a few downstairs near the shower.

Viewliners, everything is on one level. The shower is just past the coffee area; at this point, every accommodation has a toilet in the room, so there is no public bathroom in those cars.

Special Request For Booking An Amtrak Bedroom

Two bedrooms in each car can turn into a suit, similar to hotel rooms with interior doors between the two rooms.

If needed, you can book three people in a bedroom, but two people need to share the lower bed, and it will be cozy.

If you want to reserve either of these, call up Amtrak at 1-800-USA-Rail.

Booking Your Amtrak Bedroom

Buying Amtrak Ticket
A passenger is buying a ticket from a staffed station. Photo courtesy of Amtrak

Different Ways To Book

Amtrak offers a few ways to book reservations depending on your needs, in-person at staffed stations, on the phone (1-800-USA-Rail), and electronically via the Amtrak website or app.

The best way to book is whatever way makes you comfortable. I often use the website or app, but I have called to make changes. Usually, you can modify a trip, but there could be fees. You do have 24 to cancel a trip without any penalty.

Amtrak accepts credit and debit cards or  Amtrak gift card. Due to Covid-19, Amtrak is not taking cash at this time.

Your Ticket

If you make reservations over the phone or electronically, in either case, Amtrak sends you an eticket. These etickets can be printed off or scanned from your phone. The app also will store and display etickets as well if you use your Amtrak Guest Rewards number.

If you make reservations in person, you will receive a paper ticket. You can ask the agent if they can email you one too, so you have a backup.

Some stations have a Quick-Trak machine where you can scan the barcode and print out a paper ticket. The printed cards are similar in size to airline boarding possesses and the same ones you get if you make your reservations at a station.

Each ticket contains the train name and number; the next line shows the car and room numbers. Bedroom “room numbers” are letters. The car number is four digits and found by the door, and the first number is the route number.

Bedroom ticket
Amtrak etickets show you your train name and number, car number, and your bedroom letter.

Cost & Fees

When you book, there are two parts to your reservation. There is the room’s cost, only charged once per tickets unless you are booking suites or more than one place. The second cost is the rail fair, and everyone pays that. If you qualify for a discount, the discount only comes off the rail fair, NOT the room price.

When looking online, the price on the screen includes both the rail fair and room price, and if you entered two people, the price would represent the cost for both people together.

Booking Tip

I have a tip that might seem odd for this article but still putting it out there. If you are traveling with someone else and a bedroom cost more than you want, see if you can book two roomettes instead. While the roomettes are smaller and do not have a bathroom, booking two roomettes will give each person more personal space at a lower price. If you call up or use a staff station, they check and see if two roomettes are available across or next to each other.

If you book two roomettes because it is cheaper, keep an eye on bedroom cost, and if the price drops, you can switch accommodations.

This tip works well if you want a little more room than sharing a roomette and saving money if the bedroom is too much. If you book this, you can go to the other person’s roomette to hang out, or they can come to yours. This trip does avoid someone climbing on the upper bunk, although bedrooms have ladders, and roomettes have built-in steps.

Check with Amtrak’s current booking rules to check on fees associated with modifying reservations.

Sleeper car Number
The four-digit number be the door on sleeper car show train 30, The Capitol Limited, and is the number 01 car.

Boarding The Train

General

When they announce your train or before it arrives, grab your ticket and check what car you are assigned. When it’s time to board, walk to the train, or wait on the platform, depending on station type. From there, listen to the staff. They will ask you if you are a coach or a sleeper passenger. Tell them you are a sleeper and follow their directions.

Like North Charleston, SC, staff could ask stand at a spot on the platform for faster passenger loading at some stations.

There are a few stations with short platforms; this means the train needs to make two stops, one for coach passengers and the second for sleepers. If that is the case, wait patiently for your turn and listen to the conductor’s announcements.

No matter what station you are boarding at, the train is simple. Often, all the sleepers are together, and all the coaches are together, separated by the cafe and dining cars.

Exceptions

Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, and Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle do not follow this pattern because these routes separate (or come together depending on direction). It is more important for these trains to pay attention as to where you need to go.

TIcket lift
Amtrak conductors may scan your tickets before you get on the train or after you are onboard. Photo courtesy of Amtrak

Look At Your Ticket

Before the train arrives, or before you walk to greet it, look at your ticket. Look for the sleeper that matches your reservation. A staff member should be there to greet you and help you onboard. Sometimes these numbers don’t get updated, so in that case, ask a uniformed staff member. For example, train 6, a sleeper, could read 0531 instead of 0631.

Sometimes, Veiwliners do not open all the doors; you may enter or leave from the adjoining car.

Travel tip: have your ticket ready before you need it. When it comes to etickets, I am a suspenders and belt type of guy. I have my eticket on my phone and paper back up. Taking a screenshot of your pic can be helpful too.

The conductors use an iPhone type scanner to check tickets, verifying you are on the right train, on the correct date, and in the right car and room.  Sometimes conductors scan tickets or lift tickets before getting on the train; others will wait until you are on the train and come by after they lift the coach passenger tickets. Occasionally they will consult with your car attendant and check you off later.

When Onboard

Amtrak Bedroom
An Amtrak bedroom prepared for sleeping. The upper bunk comes down for another passenger.

When you are on the train, your car attendant helps you settle in and get your bed’s ready for bed, and put them up in the morning. There is a call button so you can get their attention. If you have issues, chat with them. If they give you excellent service, you are allowed to tip, often $5 – $20 a day. How much you tip depends on the quality of service and your budget

Fresh Air Stops

There are select stations for you to get off the train to stretch, get fresh air, or smoke. Do not wander too far away from the train; if you stray too far away, the train will leave without you. Do not smoke or vape near the trains because the smell quickly spread through the cars. If you step off the train, listen for the train horn, they will give two quick blows as a warning,

Do not smoke or vape on the train. If you do either on the train, the next stop could be your next stop, even if it’s not your destination, and you could have federal fines. I saw this happen a couple of times, I have been in a car where someone smoked in the bathroom, and the smell filled the car quickly, so don’t.

Amtrak will not leave before the scheduled time but for flag stop. Flag stops are quick stops, and the train may not stop if no one gets on or off.

Arriving At Your Destination

This one is a little easier because you just get off the train.

Getting Ready

I like to note my penultimate stop; I know after we leave there, I should go back to my room and get my belongings ready.

For example, if I take Amtrak to visit my sister in Papillion, NE, near Omaha, NE, then Cresent, IA is the stop I need to listen for because it’s the one before my sister’s.

Amtrak Train
An Amtrak conductor is helping a passenger off of the train. Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

In my example, I have a little over an hour from the Cresent stop and Omaha. That is more than enough time to clean up my area, re-pack my things, and text my sister, letting her know I am close. You may have more time than that, like hours, or you may have a lot less. If you are not for sure, ask your car attendant or a conductor.

The Staff Will Help You

During the day, conductors and car attendants announce the upcoming stops over the PA, but from around 10 pm to 7 am is quiet hours, and instead, the staff comes to your room to alert you.

Conductors or car attendants will knock on your door to let you know your stop is coming up, often fifteen to thirty minutes before your destination. When I arrived in North Charleston, SC, we arrived around 4:50 am, and often got a cup of well-needed coffee from some amazing car attendant.

Staff will often offer to take your luggage to the door before you arrive at your destination. Staff will direct you to the right door and help you off when the train comes to a complete stop. If you are on a Superliner, you will know what door you are leaving, but on Viewliners, they may let passengers from two sleeper cars out of the same door.

Checked Bags

If you checked your bags, listen for instructions on where to claim checked bags. There is not a cross-system protocol for check baggage because of the different station sizes and resources.

At larger stations, checked baggage is like an airport with a baggage carousel, but at some small stations, you could claim your bags off the baggage trailer.

Amtrak Bedroom: Packing List 

These items I pack to make my trip more enjoyable.

  • Electronics and entertainment (Be aware. typically trains do not have internet)
    • Extension cord, headphones, chargers, and cables
    • A tablet that you can download entertainment, such as an iPad or Kindle
      • Download a few Podcasts and music you enjoy (can be downloaded on your phone or tablet.
      • Apps such as Netflix, Disney +, and Amazon Prime allow you to download movies ahead of time so you can watch them without the internet. Other apps allow you to watch videos that you digitally purchased.
    • A few books and magazines also work for entertainment.
  • Refreshments
    • I pack enough snacks for each direction of my journey in a small reusable bag that I can easily slide into my luggage.
      • This method saves space and a good excuse to get out and explore your destinations or layover city. Altho stations like Chicago and LA have shops that sell snacks, but you will pay more.
    • A refillable water bottle is a handy way to stay hydrated and save money.
    •  You can bring alcohol to consume it in your room (if you want to have a drink in other parts of the train, you need to purchase it onboard. If you get out of control, you could be removed at the next stop, regardless of your destination.
  • Sleeping and misc
    • Eyeshades if you are super sensitive to light at night
    • There are drapes on all the windows, but sometimes at stations, stops lights could be out your window, and a little light could leak in.
    • Earplugs if you need it quiet
    • Sleep aides

Bedroom Etiquette

Basic manners apply, but a few things I want to go over.

  • Inside voices are essential; the walls are thin, so be mindful of your neighbors.
  • If you don’t use headphones, keep your electronics at a low volume.
  • Treat your car attendant with respect, there is only one them for the whole car, and they try to help everyone the best they can; it could take some time for them to get you and assist you.
    • If you have excellent service feel free to tip; $5 to $10 is a standard per day and given at the end, but that is up to you.
  • Clean up after yourself in common areas for the betterment of your fellow passengers

Amtrak Bedroom FAQ

Superliner Bedroom
The hallway for Amtrak Superliner Bedrooms

They are the largest rooms available in Amtrak sleeper cars, and often the most expensive as well.

Superliner Trains have five bedrooms per car located on the upper floor. Viewliners have two bedrooms located on the opposite side of the sleeper of the roomettes. On the Auto Train, there are a few cars that have ten bedrooms.

On Superliner sleepers, bedroom A is about 10″ smaller, and is next to the stairs. If, after booking, you do not like the room assignment, you can call 1-800-USA-Rail to see if you can change rooms. Room changes can only happen if there are open rooms.

When possible, Amtrak offers priority boarding to sleeper car passengers. If you are getting on the train at an intermediate station, it is hard to provide this service. If you are at the originating station, most trains stop loading 5 minutes before departure.

Wrap Up

Wow, that is a lot of information, and some of it will make more sense once you see and get on your first train. I find doing your research as you did with this article helps keeps your expectations realistic and gives you more confidence. Book your tickets, get on the train, sit back, relax, listen to the announcements, let the staff help you, be kind, and enjoy the scenery.

I hope this page answered most of your questions; if not, let me know what I missed. There is an article coming out soon covering traveling on Amtrak’s long-distance trains.

If you still have questions check out these articles.

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Safe Travels.

Kev

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